Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mr. Fisher's Journey

The papers reported the death of Eddie Fisher, a singer I remember from my New Jersey youth. His appeal may have been greater to my sister's cohort (born 1942) than mine (born 1947), but I definitely recall the hornet's nest he kicked when he took up with Liz Taylor. He ended up in Berkeley, like countless others from the east coast (including me). What is it about Berkeley that attracts them? The anonymity, maybe. Whatever one might say about the politics, this place is fairly cosmopolitan about private life. You have to go out of your way to draw unwanted attention, and mostly it's to point out just how hypocritical you are. (Fred Dodsworth's exposure of his older son's bureaucrat harasser is one example, and that rent-board guy who went to jail is another.) Others, who might be gossip-fodder elsewhere, walk these streets unmolested, only death drawing attention to their presence.

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